Street justice came to fore in the city on Tuesday when a mob lynched a driver and injured the attendant after the vehicle ran over a 10-year-old boy.
The incident occurred around 2.40pm in the Choti Pahari area under the jurisdiction of Agamkuan police station. The mob also torched the truck (HP-64-6170), which, according to the police, was on its way to Patna carrying a consignment of liquor bottles.
“The truck was on its way to the state capital through the Bypass road near the Choti Pahari area. The police have no clue as to where the truck was coming from. The registration number of the vehicle indicates it is from Himachal Pradesh. The driver has been identified as Tara Singh, a resident of Punjab. The injured has been identified as Dhurbi Singh. The boy, who was run over, has been identified as Amit, a resident of the area. His father, Ram Sharan Mandal, is a farmer,” said deputy superintendent of police (Patna City) Rajesh Kumar.
Sources said the truck had taken a detour to the bypass road to enter the state capital.
“At this moment, it cannot be confirmed whether the truck was speeding or not. The boy, it seems was crossing the road, and the truck hit him. The boy died on the spot. Investigations are on and prima facie, it seems the truck tried to speed away after the accident but a mob rushed to the spot and forced the vehicle to stop. The driver and his assistant were pulled out and were beaten up with sticks and bricks. The attendant was seriously injured. The mob set the truck on fire, while some of them went to National Highway 30 and damaged passing vehicles. By then, the police received information and reached the spot. The assistant has been admitted to Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition. The police also had to use mild force to disperse the rampaging crowd. More than 12 vehicles were damaged,” said a police officer.
“It is a matter of investigation and the police will probe if there were cops present on the spot at the time of the incident. The cops have not been able to make any arrests and we are trying to identify the people involved,” the officer added.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj, expressing concern over the incident, appealed to the people not to take the law into their hands.
“Incidents like these should not happen. The people should trust the police and not use violent means,” the senior officer said.
Binda Singh, a city-based clinical psychologist, said: “People have become very intolerant owing to several problems. It may be owing to unemployment, rise in prices and others. They have also lost trust in the administration.”